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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Building and Fire Sciences

Project Title :  Develop information on the relationships between moisture, energy efficiency & durability in residential and non-residential wood buildings
Project Number : FPL-4716-1A
Status : NEW
Start Date : 01-23-2015
End Date : 01-22-2020

View the 22 publications associated with this project.

Sam ZelinkaPrincipal Investigator:
Samuel L. Zelinka

Non Technical Summary
As a building material, wood fails because it gets wet. Wood exhibits swelling upon moisture uptake and shrinkage upon drying, and these cyclical moisture changes lead to internal stresses and can eventually form splits and checks within the wood. When there is an abundance of moisture in the wood, it is susceptible to microbial growth, fungal decay, corrosion of embedded metals, and chemical depolymerization from certain ions and free radicals. This problem area examines how and why wood in buildings gets wet so that better construction practices can be developed.

Objectives Summary
The objective of this problem area is to understand how changes in how the building envelope is constructed lead to moisture accumulation in the wood, and how accumulated moisture can lead to wood failures.

Approach Summary
• Field testing- monitoring moisture in wood buildings• Characterization- characterizing the hygrothermal properties of building materials• Modeling- using climatic data and accurate material properties to predict moisture accumulation in buildings• Laboratory scale tests of new wall assemblies- performed at the one-of-a-kind Chamber for Analytic Research on Wall Assemblies Exposed to Simulated Weather (CARWASh).

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2017Accelerated aging of preservative-treated structural plywood09/05/17
2017Analysis of improved criteria for mold growth in ASHRAE standard 160 by comparison with field observations12/12/17
2018Assessment of fastener corrosion and salt damage in the bilge of the Eureka06/06/18
2016Avast Ye Salty Dogs: Salt damage in the context of coastal residential construction and historical maritime timbers03/22/17
2015 Thermal Insulation System Made of Wood and Paper for Use in Residential Construction01/07/16
2015Basement radon entry and stack driven moisture infiltration reduced by active soil depressurization01/20/15
2016Comparison of the corrosion of fasteners embedded in wood measured in outdoor exposure with the predictions from a combined hygrothermal-corrosion model05/25/16
2015Corrosion of Wires on Wooden Wire-Bound Packaging Crates04/08/15
2016Effects of Exterior Insulation on Moisture Performance of Wood-Frame Walls in the Pacific Northwest: Measurements and Hygrothermal Modeling07/11/16
2017Evaluation of nonpressure wood preservatives for military applications12/07/17
2018Experimental investigation of the influence of temperature on thermal conductivity of multilayer reflective thermal insulation09/10/18
2016Improvements to water vapor transmission and capillary absorption measurements in porous materials09/22/17
2018Moisture monitoring throughout the construction and occupancy of mass timber builidings09/28/18
2015Moisture Performance of Energy-Efficient and Conventional Wood-Frame Wall Assemblies in a Mixed-Humid Climate07/07/15
2016Moisture storage and transport properties of preservative treated and untreated southern pine wood07/13/16
2015Moisture transfer through the membrane of a cross-flow energy recovery ventilator: Measurement and simple data-driven modeling03/10/15
2018Remote detection of termite activity in wooden bridge structures08/31/18
2015Remote sensing for detection of termite infestations—Proof of Concept06/19/15
2017Simple and accurate temperature correction for moisture pin calibrations in oriented strand board02/15/17
2017Synchrotron based x-ray fluorescence microscopy confirms copper in the corrosion products of metals in contact with treated wood06/07/17
2015Withdrawal Strength and Bending Yield Strength of Stainless Steel Nails08/25/15
2015Wood Structural Panel & Foam Insulation Systems: Hygrothermal Behavior & Lateral Load Resistance-Experimental Studies05/13/16

Project Summaries last modified: 09-28-2015